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Tweak Windows Registry to Increase Windows Startup Speed

written by: •edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 12/11/2009

To increase Windows startup speed, you need not always go for a high end system. There are few simple registry tweaks to increase Windows Startup speed. This article offers a step by step registry tweak to increase Windows Startup after explaining the easy methods.

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    How to Remove Startup Programs to Speed up Computer

    Several third party programs (especially the ones you download from the Internet for improving system performance) tend to put themselves into the list of startup programs so that they can start with Windows. Most of these programs include your antivirus program, firewall, download manager, defragmenter, and others.

    Normally, you can see which programs are set to start automatically by typing in "MSCONFIG" (without quotes) in the Start menu → Run command. Under the dialog that appears, click on the Startup tab to see which programs are set to start with Windows. You can see how many programs are listed to auto start with Windows. Notice the Location column in the System Configuration Utility (msconfig). You can see two different types: the first type is named Startup and the other types carry HK followed by other characters. The ones with HK prefixed refer to a registry entry while those marked Startup can be found at (Start menu → All ProgramsStartup).

    First of all, you need to consider which programs should start with Windows. From the list of programs that need to start with Windows, you can consider what programs can be delayed so that they can load after a slight delay. This action of delaying programs is not available with MSCONFIG. All you can do with MSCONFIG is to remove programs that you do not wish to load with Windows.

    IMPORTANT: If you remove any program using MSCONFIG, you get a screen saying Windows is running under diagnostics mode upon reboot. Click on "Do not Show this screen or Launch System Configuration Utility" to make sure the screen does not appear each and every time you boot Windows.

    There are some programs that are not visible in MSCONFIG yet load with Windows. This happens because they are listed in your Windows registry - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Note that MSCONFIG shows you startup programs applicable only for the current user and not for the entire machine. The next section checks out registry tweaks to increase Windows Startup speed.

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    Registry Tweaks to Increase Windows Startup Speed

    NOTE: Before making any changes to the registry, create a system restore point so that you can rollback in case something goes wrong.

    Before you go ahead with registry tweak to increase Windows Startup speed, you need to open the Windows registry.

    1 Click on Start menu and select RUN. Type "Regedit" without the quotes and hit Enter.

    2. You get the Windows registry editor. You can see five keys to the left. We need to work on only HKEY_CURRENT_USER and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

    3. Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Changes made here, will be applicable for all users.

    4. Expand the Software key, look for Microsoft. Expand Microsoft and look for Windows.

    5. Once you get the Windows key, expand it and look for CurrentSession.

    6. Under CurrentSession, look for the key named Run.

    7. This key lists all the startup programs in the right pane of the Registry Editor Window. Check the programs using the path shown under the Location key. Right-click item under Name column and select Delete to remove the program you do not need.

    8. To add a program to the list, right-click anywhere in the right pane and select NEW -> String. Give the string a name and enter the full path to the application that you wish to run.

    Once you are done with the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, you can set your own startup programs from HKEY_CURRENT_USER: using steps 4 through 8.

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    Tweaking Registry to Delay Load Windows Programs

    [A] If you have a good command over Visual Basic, you can create references to programs for delay load through registry. Once you create the references, put them in the right-pane under ShellServiceObjectDelayLoad (below Run under CurrentSession).

    [B] Another simple method to delay a startup program is to create a batch file. Once you are done, you can add reference to the batch file in the Windows Registry ->HKEY_CURRENT_USER or the Start menu's startup folder.

    [C] You may also use third party programs (eg WinPatrol) to achieve delayload.

    NOTE: You need administrative privileges before you can tweak registry to speed up Windows Startup speed.

Tweaking the Registry Editor - Tweaking Registry to Improve Windows Performance

Tweaking the registry editor allows you more control over your machine and OS. This Guide helps you learn tweaking the registry editor to acheive the following: increase Windows Startup speed; increase Windows Shutdown, XP Registry Keys Best Backup Method ; and creating custom context menu;
  1. Tweak Windows Registry to Increase Windows Startup Speed
  2. Tweaking Windows Registry to Increase Windows Shutdown Speed
  3. How to Backup and Restore Windows Registry
  4. Tweaking the Windows Registry - Custom Context Menu for Beginners

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